Farmscape for October 27, 2014
The chair of Manitoba Pork says pork producers on both sides of the Canada U.S. border and U.S. pork processing plants continue to suffer from the effects of U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling.
As the result of requirements for U.S. pork processing plants to segregate domestic origin pigs from foreign origin pigs to meet U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling requirements, most U.S. processors stopped buying Canadian origin pigs.
In a ruling released last week, the World Trade Organization found changes to the legislation introduced in 2013 failed to bring the U.S. into compliance with its world trade obligations and actually increased the level of discrimination against imported livestock.
Karl Kynoch, the chair of Manitoba Pork, says the restrictions have hurt both Canadian producers and U.S. producers who had relied on Canadian pigs for finishing.
Clip-Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork:
A number of producers in the U.S. who were buying their weanling supply from Manitoba, some of them lost that supply due to the fact that some of the processors in the U.S. stopped buying any pigs that were raised in Canada and in turn they weren't able to find other stock down there to fill their barns.
We know some of the producers actually went out of business or they're sitting there currently with empty barns so that really did hurt the producers there.
The packers also had to restructure because they had to fill up that space that was missing from the Canadian pigs going down.
At the time it wasn't a huge drop but then since that they've also got short of pigs once in a while too so it's definitely put a little bit more strain on the packers in the U.S.
They were having to chase pigs a little bit harder.
Kynoch says Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling has restricted trade and created huge challenges for the North American pork industry.
He says fixing the legislation will allow U.S. and Canadian producers to work together in harmony and get back to normal business.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council